Samurai Lizardmen

Slann-Shogun Mosumo, the Wrath of the West, was one of the Old Ones' World watchers, a group of Mage priests sent to the remote corners of the Old world after its creation. These creatures were tasked to oversee the founding of early civilizations, directing the cultural progress and even the grand evolution itself. Mosumo was sent to a small volcanic island near the contingents of todays Cathay and Nippon. Mosumo's secondary task was to guard the great golden treasures which were hidden inside the enormous volcano fortresses.

In his new home Mosumo created the reputation of disciplined and aggressive general who upheld honour and loyalty in his imperium. He dispatched his lizard cohorts to construct the path through middle parts of the Old world, (nowadays known as the Silk road among men and elves) and later defended the important trade route against vile mutant thiefs and other creatures of Chaos. His warriors developed great individual fighting skills and weapons that were very different compared to those Mosumos brethren constructed back in the jungles of Lustria. His armies were magnificent to behold, clad in golden armour and armament and carrying great, colourful banners bearing their masters heraldry. Sometimes the great armies even took the treasures with them as they travelled far from the main islands, as they knew the gold would be best protected within their disciplined ranks. Mosumo was also known to interact with the early human population through trade and battles against common enemies.

After centuries the Great War against Chaos began and the legions of darkness awoke. As the nothernmost part in the Lizardmen empire, Mosumo's islands suffered the invasion first. Daemonic legions after another shook the ground with supernatural energy, causing the vulcanic powers of the earth to roar and lava to flow in rivers. Countless daemons and lizardmen were slaughtered in furious battles upon the beaches and shores of Mosumos islands. In the end the daemons were too many. Slann-Shogun had no choice but to order his warriors to abandon their posts, evacuate the gold into great warships and sail to the east to join forces with their Lustrian comrades. As he retreated, Mosumo prepared a cataclysmic spell which sent his island home and thousands of daemon creatures into oblivion. The sheer energy of the magic caused colossal waves and storms around the seas of the Old world. These forces marked Mosumo's arrival to Lustria, as his fleet rode ashore on top of the Tsunami storm waves.

Skink scouts explore the secret jungle paths
As his exotic legion settled to their new home, they brought their culture and ways with them. Some other Slann have always despised Mosumo and judged his actions and plans roguesome. His interest in warfare and art is considered odd and other Slann find it unnatural that creature of their kind would travel armed and armoured, actually wearing clothing and plates originally meant for lesser warrior beings. However, whenever the Slann council physically meets, an utter silence falls over the plaza as Mosumos court arrives and other toad-mages squirm upon their palanquins in fearful respect. 

Even though Mosumos realm no longer reaches to the islands of Nippon and Cathay, those cultures nowadays inhabited by men bear the colours and traditions originally developed by the Warrior-Slann. The stories of the golden lizard king who caused seas to roar are told to this day. 

Mosumo is carried to war by his loyal Temple Retainer bodyguard who stop at nothing to serve their masters cause. Although I used the new Slann model, I wanted to include the classic scene of Saurus hauling the big frog around. The arrows are a nod towards classic samurai art and the color indicates that the hail was fired by the savage orc clan of one of my good friend's.

The albino skin of the Slann-Shogun is decorated by kabuki-styled warpaint to frighten his enemies. Mosumo always wears his magical armor and carries two ceremonial swords on his belt. As the official gold guardian of the Old ones, his legions bathe in treasures and Mosumo never leaves his temples without his debt book which other Slann have learned to fear! The conversion is a mix of green stuff and assortment of bits, such as Eldar War walker accessories, High elf details and Space Marine tank parts. The banners were made out of soda cans and cocktail sticks. Coin bath is from Saurus sprues and the book was taken from 40k Ravenwing upgrade kit.

With all his wealth Slann has hired Apina, the freelance monkey shaman to work at his side. The Skink priests of Mosumo's court constantly find their sacred (or lethal) magical scrolls to be missing as Apina vastens his collection. The creature does actually have no clue of what he's doing, but Slann-Shogun has calculated that most spells thrown by Apina are sent to the general direction of the enemy and the monkey works cheap for the price of bananas. This monkey representing a Skink Priest is always a highlight of our games, either causing crazy disasters throughout the game or (as usual) blowing himself and a few bystanders off the board on turn one! The model is a simply conversion of Empire Handgunner powder monkey, with green stuff bananas and paper scrolls added to it's base.

Scar Veteran Irobe the Gate Guardian is Mosumos right hand. He's a brutal and loyal warrior who answers of the training and arming of the army's Saurus regiments. For this conversion I used a lizardman Oldblood model's body, but the legs, tail and head parts are from a Dark Elf Cold one mount. This adds more dinosaur/reptile look to the model and increases the size of the cold-blooded warrior. Horns, lustrian katana and the sashimono-banners are essential details.

 Lotl Botl and Itzi Bitzi are classic heroes from the elder editions of WHFB. They serve as Irobe's lieutenants, commanding disciplined cohorts of Skink and Saurus warriors throughout the jungle campaigns. Lotl Botl is a classic Lizardmen Champion model, Itzi Bitzi is a conversion of GW bits and a Otherworld miniatures' Lizardman fig.

  A magnificent sight of a treasure-clad Temple Guard regiment! The first two ranks form an impenetrable spearwall to push the less-skilled enemies away from the sacred treasures. The first rank models were converted to advance in a lizardy crouch pose so their brethren could thrust their spears over them. A samurai-like helmet was scratch-built to every model from plasticard, green stuff and a range of bits from different Fantasy battle helmets. The classic bretonnian elk horns are my favorites. Even though Temple Guard don't get spears in the game, I didn't let it bother the vision I had for the regiment; no opponent has complained about it either so far.

Saurus regiment marches to war under the cooling shadow of a cherry tree. Many of the cold-blooded warriors have chosen to wear traditional headgear to battle and are armed with magic-enforced spears. I did a small diorama unit filler of a Saurus that has fallen under enemy missile fire. Simple headbands and hats were made out of paper and green stuff and only the champion is permitted to use the sacred golden helmet armor. The rest of my Saurus models are classic ones, but it was fun to make one regiment of the new versions with spears. 

 The cherry tree filler was a last-minute addition when our store's bit box had an extra tree laying around. I converted a chameleon skink to look out for enemy formations from it's elevated position. In story-based scenarios it can also be used as an objective marker or simply a themed terrain piece.

The Red brotherhood is one of the Mosumos most trusted regiments. These Skink monks worship gold as divine element and in addition to their brave fighting reputation and tracking skills they are skilled elementalists. Holy gold is melted in the arcane pot and as it flows to the ground from the pipe, the Skink shaman is able to mould monstrous, golden elementals from it to wage war upon the enemies of the Lizardmen.

Skinks also train warbeasts to fight in the ordinary battle stance and to use polearms. Pictured below is Rokakabuto the Gold giant who is one of the Stegadon Ancients serving in Mosumos grand army. These colossal creatures also answer for the transportation of the golden treasures when the armies move through the jungle, so the Skinks have constructed a wooden backpack for Rokakabuto to pile the riches in.

In the game the model is a Skink Chief with Stegadon warspear. I just thought it would be cool if the dinosaur was swinging the spear himself! Skinks also carry a jar of hellstingers into the battle, a pot filled with angry, poisonous bees the lizardmen can unleash upon their foe. For games this represents the Giant blowpipes, that are part of a Stegadon's armament.

Other warbeasts employed by the lizard host include Salamanders, Carnosaurs and vile jungle swarms. The Salamander models are awesome giant lizards from the Otherworld miniatures, who also made the centipedes, stirges and gold beetles. The wild carnosaur I made out of Games Workshop's Lord of the Rings dragon by cutting off the ears and leaving the wings unattached. In our games it serves as a summoned monster in the Storm of Magic environment.

 The garrison is built, but the army grows. Intruders beware!

Click to see more of the Samurai Lizardmen...

And this to see where they live! 

Still to assemble/paint/finish

Oldblood Carnosaur, awaiting conversion process
Navy commander Slann, cleaned, awaiting conversion process
Lizardmen Jungle Fleet Battleship, planning phase

Assembled army, ready to fight

Slann - CHECK
Monkey Priest - CHECK
Oldblood - CHECK
Scar Veteran - CHECK
Mounted Battle standard bearer - CHECK
Skink Shaman - CHECK
Stegadon with an Engine of the Gods - CHECK
Skink Chief - CHECK
 Kroxigor Champion - CHECK
50 Saurus Ronin - CHECK
24 Temple Guard - CHECK
20 Saurus Warriors - CHECK
46 Skink Warriors - CHECK
40 Skink skirmishers - CHECK
2 Kroxigors Gold Elementals - CHECK
6 Saurus Cavalry - CHECK
6 Tichi-Huichi Cavalry - CHECK
Stegadon Ancient - CHECK
4 Razordon hunting packs - CHECK
3 Salamander hunting packs - CHECK
Lizardmen Temple City Fortifications - CHECK

Stay tuned for pics and project updates


  1. Great looking stuff here this is truly inspirational. I am currently in the process of making an army based on the thunder lizard conversion I'm working on atm. I really just wanted to take the time a post a comment and say thank you for showing this because it inspires me to keep trucking with my conversions and keep my attention to detail high.

    1. Very nice to hear, thanks for the comment! And best of luck with your conversion project. :)

  2. Stunning army, inspirational as mentioned above.

  3. Dude, that Stegadon with the polearm is INSANE! Awesome work, my friend!

    1. Thanks man, it's my favorite beast of the pack as well!

  4. I was really just wondering about your Scar Veteran Irobe how did you make him that Lizardy (thats not a word i am aware, but heck you know what i mean) i know th parts you used but jus how did you do it, im trying to make my normal lizardman army a uniqe general not ttrying to steal your idea just wondering!!

  5. How did you make the lustian katana????
    Kind regards

  6. *shivers* so awesome, dat bastiladon!
    My favorite by far is the OldBlood general. It looks so good I might even steal the idea ;D

    Props! Really great stuff

  7. Which colours did you use to paint these guys? Would a saurus hero on the wild carnosaur look good?

    1. The models' grey skin is old Adeptus Battlegrey shaded with Nuln Oil and their scales are layered with different orange and yellow paints starting from bright orange. In all simplicity. :)

      I'm sure it would! My Carnosaur hero is still in the works.

  8. Could you identify the Turtle Miniatures please?
    I'm looking for such creatures for my swamp themed army.

    Regards H.

    1. Hi and thanks for your message! Unfortunately I don't know the manufacturer of the turtles, but they are simple toy figures. I found them in a scale model / toy store while we were travelling in Hong Kong and just had to adopt them into the Lizardmen host. They're one piece plastic casts and were pre-painted in realistic colors before I repainted and based the models. You might be able to find similar in toy stores?

      Hope this helps. Have a nice summer!

  9. Just found this as I am building a Lizardman warband.
    Your work is superb and your background is magnificent!
    This is the kind of stuff GW SHOULD be doing. Very rich and well thought out!

    Thanks for posting this work.

    Mark M from Champaign, IL.

    1. Thank you sir! Best of luck with your Lizardmen build!


    1. Hi! The ship was an older plan that has not yet been produced, but maybe one day. :)